Third party developers are extremely important in keeping the content of a product as Microsoft flight simulator fresh and vital. Aviation is such a vast subject that simulating every aircraft in existence and every airport in detail is impossible even for a company as large as Microsoft.
That’s where third-party developers come in to integrate and complement what Microsoft and Asobo can’t handle on their own, while allowing users to deeply customize their experience.
iniBuilds has become one of the most prominent third-party developers in the industry. Not only do they create a wide range of high-quality plug-ins, but they’ve teamed up with Microsoft to create the massive Antonov An-225 “Mriya” (about which you can check out a dedicated interview) and the Airbus A310, which has shipped to all users with the 40th Anniversary Edition for free, providing everyone with the first high-fidelity definable default airliner in the history of the genre.
On top of that, iniBuilds has been creating a number of great scenery plugins that represent some of the largest and most complex airports in the world, including the recent John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, which we reviewed a few days ago. .
These kinds of results are very rare in this industry, and to hear more about how this developer achieves such challenging feats, TechRaptor interviewed CEO Ubaid Mussa, who provided a very interesting perspective on the way iniBuilds operates and the philosophy behind the developer. .
Giuseppe Nelva: iniBuilds has certainly established itself as one of the most relevant developers for Microsoft flight simulator. Could you share any insights into the history of the company?
Ubaid Muse: iniBuilds is a collective of thinkers and doers with a shared commitment to creating the best products for flight simulation. We built a cutting-edge simulation software company with extensive experience in geospatial imaging, 3D modeling, texturing, and simulation of complex systems.
Our name comes from our early days, where we started in early 2019 creating mods for Prepar3D, with liveries created and published shortly after in the iniBuilds freeware library. The name comes from the .ini file of a GSX profile, which was our first project and is built from “create a profile”. Weird, we know, but we’ll stick with it!
Since then we have gone from strength to strength creating a wide range of flight simulation products.
Nelva: What is your impression of the MSFS plugin market right now? Are there any pain points that you think need to be addressed?
muse: We think the market is booming and it’s great to see it. There are a large number of high-quality products that cover all aspects of simulation, allowing customers to choose what they can experience within the simulator.
Nelva: Microsoft flight simulator brought many new customers to this market. How did it affect your sales?
muse: When Microsoft flight simulator We entered the arena, we were only X-plane developers and we released our first major product a week before the launch of MSFS. So we didn’t really have any data before this period to compare. Sales have been excellent for all of our active products in Microsoft flight simulator.
Nelva: It sounds like you have a very strong partnership with Microsoft. How did it happen and how does it influence your studio’s workflow and resources?
muse: When we released our Beluga for X-Plane 11, it was accidentally added to a Microsoft newsletter and I kindly contacted Jorg (Neumann, Head of Microsoft flight simulator at Microsoft) to inform you that this was not the case; although at that time we were in active development of some Microsoft flight simulator our own work, we had not disclosed it to the public. Initial contact was made and I really believed in what Jorg stood for, his goals and his vision for Microsoft flight simulator.
With our views aligned, we entered into a long-term partnership, which for us has been very successful working on some great projects, from the A310 to the Antonov An-225. It’s great to be able to work with one of the largest organizations in the world of gaming and technology and be a part of making a significant impact in our industry!
Nelva: How did you feel about delivering the Antonov An-225, which is not only a fun plane to fly, but also has a deeper meaning?
muse: It certainly does! When Jorg mentioned it to me and we had initial internal meetings, we knew we had to do it. Jorg was very kind and approached us first, so we felt very honored and energized that we were the studio selected to work on such a high-profile project. For us, flight simulation is all about bringing great experiences to simmers, taking it to the next level – that’s our company motto. What better way to do it than by recreating such an iconic aircraft in Microsoft flight simulator, which will have such a positive impact in supporting real world efforts to restore the aircraft? It was really a fantastic experience; from the development process to engaging with the Antonov team to really implement small details to give simmers a truly authentic experience.
Nelva: I’m pretty sure that one of your most anticipated products for MSFS It’s the Airbus A300. How is the development going?
muse: Development is going great! At iniBuilds, while we don’t say much publicly about active projects, we all work very hard, creating fantastic products for our customers to enjoy. The A300 was our first paid software project, so it means a lot to all of us and is the aircraft we know best. While I can’t share much right now, I highly recommend anyone visiting FSExpo in Houston to visit our booth for a ‘BIG’ surprise.
Nelva: Your studio is producing extremely large airports to a high level of quality and an extremely impressive rate of delivery. You launched Heathrow, Los Angeles, Detroit and more in just a few months, and now you’re delivering JFK. I would say this is pretty unprecedented. How did they achieve such an efficient stage production line?
muse: It hasn’t been a quick or easy process, but since the launch of our first product (Heathrow V1), we’ve learned many lessons and expanded the team significantly. Some of the projects we work on are really big and therefore require meticulous organization and close coordination with all parties involved.
To give you an idea, JFK, it took us 4-5 months to build from scratch to what we have today. We have established an excellent production line environment within the team to allow for a seamless process; research, modeling, texturing, reviews and testing. Every team member on the project knows what he needs to do and, in this way, we can cover a large amount of art production in a short time. We also have 3-4 waves of review, and we always have a management review before we launch the scenario, to ensure that the product is in the best position at launch time for customers.
I also think that customer feedback really drives us to always exceed expectations for every scenario we do – we always want to provide a better experience than we’ve ever delivered before, and I think customers notice that.
Nelva: So far, most of your biggest stage has been centered around North America and Europe. Are you considering expanding into underserved regions like Asia or Africa?
muse: You are right, but we have produced some content in other regions of the world, such as Fiji, NFFN and our free Masai Mara Adventure package. It mainly has to do with what works for our current customers. I know that in 2023, we have other destinations planned, but most people request scenery in North America or Europe!
Nelva: You also have a store that sells products from partner developers. How do you approach the challenge of discerning between quality products and those that may not be worth the money?
muse: This is a great question. I think, especially since the release of Microsoft flight simulator, our industry has expanded significantly not only in content, but also in users. Perhaps not all of these new users are looking for the previously available experiences and therefore we now have a much broader spectrum of products. What might not measure up for you and me might be just what works for someone else both in quality and price. It’s certainly a challenge to strike the right balance, and we’re always asking ourselves: What do we want to offer in our plugin marketplace? It is something that is constantly under review; to allow our customers to be satisfied by the fact that the products we offer are reputable but cover the broader demographic that is now around.
Nelva: If there is one feature that you could get Microsoft to implement that would make your job easier, what would it be?
muse: No simulator or game is perfect, nor is any product we make, but I think the best one can ask for is good communication and continuous updates, which I can say with a lot of confidence, the Microsoft flight simulator team is doing: Consistent Sim updates and world updates with great content and fixes. As developers, we have a forum space to report bugs, and your team is always quick to acknowledge or discuss them. I don’t have any features in my head, but I’d say they should keep doing what they’re doing as it’s definitely going in the right direction.
Nelva: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
muse: I would really like to thank each and every one of you for your support. Whether it’s using our products or simply interacting with us on social media; We wouldn’t be here doing what we do without the support of the community, and making people happy is really what drives us to create more great content.
If you want to stay up to date on all things iniBuilds, be sure to follow us on our social media and join our Discord for the latest and greatest iniBuilds Store news and product releases. Thank you for your time and thank you Giuseppe for the interview!
Microsoft flight simulator It is currently available for PC, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox Cloud Gaming, including Game Pass. If you want to learn more, you should keep an eye on TechRaptor as we do it every day. Microsoft flight simulator news to keep you up to date on the many addons coming and being released for the simulator.